Big bold colours, loud music and a sense of fun, DIRT 5 is the Beyonce Super Bowl halftime performance of racing games.
Last month we had the Energy DLC pack which added new career missions and, amongst three other vehicles, the Porsche Taycan. This time around we have DLC pack number two, entitled ‘Uproar’, which in a similar way adds fresh challenges and new vehicles, but coincides with game update 4.00 which also brings new liveries for some existing cars, 20 new ‘After Dark’ Playgrounds items and private online lobbies – something fans have been crying out for since the game’s original release in November 2020.
Let’s start with the paid element. Uproar adds 25 new events to the game, five Trophies/Achievements and four new vehicles: the Duke Coupe, Zenden Cup, Jackson Adventurer and Jackson Eulogy. The in-game cost of each car is listed below:
- Duke Coupe – 100,000 credits
- Zenden Cup – 160,000 credits
- Jackson Adventurer – 225,000 credits
- Jackson Eulogy – 25,000 credits
If the names of the vehicles sound familiar, that makes you a hardcore DiRT fan, as they all appeared in 2012’s DiRT Showdown. Like DIRT 5, Showdown was not a simulator and focussed on pick-up-and-play fun. Unlike DIRT 5, however, it also had figure-of-eight banger racing and arena battles. It was more like a Wreckfest precursor, whereas DIRT 5 reminds us mildly of the off-road races in Forza Horizon 4, only not open-world.
This is where the new content falls down a little bit. The vehicles look great, sound great, have fire spitting out of exhausts, but remind me that perhaps I had more fun with Showdown. Certainly, when online is accounted for, the arena, Smash and Grab and Transporter events were way more fun than DIRT 5’s Party Modes. Speaking of which, while private lobbies are always welcome, I wonder about their uptake this late into the game’s cycle, especially when finding a public Party Game event has become tricky of late.
If you can’t remember Showdown or never played it though, and let’s not forget that it was released nine years ago, here are yet more events to help you hit 1,000 miles driven and some quirky car additions. The Duke Coupe spins its wheels as the huge amount of torque ramps up, the Zenden Cup is a nimble hatchback and the hearse is, well a hearse, for good and bad. Driving a giant station wagon is funny at first, but cumbersome over time.
As with the Energy pack, there’s one mission – in this instance a Smash Attack – that showcases some of the new Playgrounds items that have been added to the game and it’s one of the best new levels. Please, Codemasters, in the next DLC bundle, more challenges created around some of the Playgrounds content would be appreciated. I know that’s a slightly odd request because I could just play levels created by the community, but knowing that a development team had tested and polished a level is satisfying and adds additional variety to the career events.
For the same price as a service station Burger King meal, $12.49/£9.99/€11.49, this is a good two hours of extra single-player content for DIRT 5. If you already have the Amplified Edition or Year One Upgrade then Uproar is a nice edition. But, the Showdown association reminds me that this could have been more than nice. It could have been exciting, one that added some new online modes or put to better use the vehicles. Oh well, here’s hoping for a more spectacular DIRT 6 or a DiRT Showdown 2. Pretty please.